Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Harare City Council will soon deploy technical teams in Harare South to explore ways to regularise the area before mobilising resources, as it moves to comply with a directive by President Mnangagwa to improve infrastructure in the suburb.
In an interview yesterday, Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba said they intended to expeditiously provide a huge facelift for Harare South.
The intervention by the city fathers followed a directive by President Mnangagwa during a national monthly clean-up exercise in Southlea Park in Harare South, where he said responsible authorities should provide infrastructure and services such as potable water, sewage reticulation, tarring roads among other issues that were yawning for attendance.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo has since made a follow-up visit last week in the area.
Cllr Gomba said council would take Harare South as a priority area in addressing its challenges and would explore all policy measures that ought to be applied to improve the area.
“We went there with the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing after the President’s visit,” he said. “The intention is to identify land and decongest some parts of Harare South.
“If you decongest then you plan to ensure that an individual household have a stand in compliance with planning laws. That is what we intend to do, decongest and regularise, that is the two steps that we intend to take.
“We will be meeting the ministry in two weeks’ time, the understanding is that we will bring all the layout plans that have been done by our planners and make sure the ministry approves all of them. After the approval process we sent out our technical team on the ground to make sure that they identify what needs to be done and visit the places and see what needs to be done in terms of policy measures.
“Beyond that, we also intend to raise resources from council and Government side to make sure that we raise resources. These resources will enable us to go out there and have infrastructure development expected in Harare South.”
Cllr Gomba said they intended to do as expeditious as possible.
“We want to do it in a manner that is quick and in conformity with the law. Understanding the call made by the President, we must be able to do it this year,” he said.
“That is what the minister and myself have agreed to do.”
Cllr Gomba said they would work together with Urban Development Corporation, a Government arm that had been appointed to administer several settlements across the country including in Harare South.
“Council has got expertise, there have surveyors, planners, we are the local planning authority, therefore we would want to work with Udcorp to exchange and complement each other’s efforts,” he said.
“It is not about competition, but to help out our people in a manner that will enable them reside in a properly planned settlement, Udcorp is an arm of the ministry, we are also a lower tier of Government, so we must be complementing each other.”
Harare South include areas such as Stoneridge Park, Southlea Park, Ushewekunze, Churu Farm, Southlands and Hopley Farm, among others.
Government has since banned the selling or development of stands in Harare South as it seeks to assert its authority in the wake of mushrooming of unserviced residential stands.
This was said by Minister Moyo when he visited the area last week accompanied by the area’s legislator, Cde Tongai Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa last week joined the people of Harare South in the monthly national clean up day and assured them that Government will give priority to developing the constituency in line with the vision to attain an upper middle income economy by 2030.